Project outline

The Finding Perspective project is built around two central hypotheses about the relation between perspectival experience and bodily experience:

  1. that perspectival experience is embodied insofar as bodily experience and perspectival experience are mutually influential;
  2. that both bodily and perspectival experiential phenomena are richly differentiated, such that different forms of each structure one another in a variety of ways.

Together, these suggest that perspectival experience may be embodied in ways that have not yet been considered. Testing these hypotheses requires systematically investigating interactions between bodily and perspectival experience with an unprecedented level of precision. Accordingly, the project will determine the ways in which perspectival experience of simple and complex, static and dynamic phenomena provide structure to and are structured by experience of balance, posture and direction, and the experienced size and shape of the body. All of which, in turn, will allow the construction of the first comprehensive theory of embodied perspectival experience. Such a theory ought to provide new insights into the nature of spatial perception, embodied action, and the relation between self, body, and world.


Work Packages

We dedicate a work package to each of the project’s three central aims:

WP1Determine precisely how forms of bodily experience affect forms of perspectival experience.

WP2. Determine precisely how forms of perspectival experience affect forms of bodily experience.

WP3. Provide a comprehensive theory of embodied perspectival experience.

The aims of WP1 and WP2 will be achieved by selectively manipulating forms of bodily experience and perspectival experience through controlled presentation of visual stimuli and controlled application of proprioceptive, vestibular and somatosensory stimuli. WP3 will construct a comprehensive theory of embodied perspectival experience by contextualising the results of WP1 and WP2 to reveal the complex structure of embodied perspectival experience and the significance of that structure for the unity of self-consciousness, multimodal perception and the relationship between body, self and world.


Research questions

Each work package comprises multiple sub-projects, each focussed on a particular research question.

WP1

Project 1: Do some people see from their chest?

Project 2: How does the size of your body affect how you see?

Project 3: How does your posture affect your tendency to take another’s perspective?

Project 4: How does your sense of balance affect your sense of direction?

WP2

Project 1: How does it feel to be somewhere else?

Project 2: Does looking at something huge make you feel tiny?

Project 3: How does it feel to be someone else?

Project 4: How does your sense of direction affect your sense of balance? 

WP3

Project 1: How complex is the structure of embodied perspectival experience?

Project 2: How perfect is the unity of embodied perspectival experience?

Project 3: What is a multimodal perspective?